Eric Idle admits he 'sent Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford high' onto Empire Strikes Back set

Telegraph Reporters
Carrie Fisher (second right) and Harrison Ford (first right) fly to Cloud City, in a scene from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Film Stills
Carrie Fisher (second right) and Harrison Ford (first right) fly to Cloud City, in a scene from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Film Stills

Monty Python star Eric Idle has revealed that in 1979 he sent Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford to a Star Wars shoot "high", following an all-night party.

Speaking to The New York Times, while promoting his new memoir Always Look on The Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography, Idle admitted that he kept the pair "up too late" before they shot the Cloud City scenes for The Empire Strikes Back: 

"We were having too much fun. Carrie Fisher had rented my house and she was staying there. We went to bed and they went to work. It turns out when they filmed the scene, they were still a little high."

Stories of wild living had long swirled around the second Star Wars film. Fisher, who was 19 at the time, later admitted to losing control of her cocaine habit on set, and in 2015 she mentioned Idle's party to The Daily Beast, saying the Pythons gave her and Ford something called "The Tunisian Death Drink".

"We never went to sleep", she said, "so we weren’t hungover — we were still drunk when we arrived in Cloud City the next day. We don’t really smile a lot in the movie, but there we’re smiling."

Idle remembers the narcotic of choice a little differently, now suggesting that Fisher and Ford were less drunk than "high". 

Fisher, who had struggled with drug addiction since her early teens, died aged 60 in 2016. Traces of cocaine, heroin and MDMA were found in her system. 

Her final Star Wars appearance was 2017's The Last Jedi, filmed a year before her death; Ford's character Han Solo had been killed off in the previous instalment. 

Director JJ Abrams has confirmed that unused footage of Fisher will appear in the forthcoming ninth film.